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tv   Journal  PBS  September 26, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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the king responded swiftly once the discontent of the moroccan people became evident. he promised modest reforms and elections, but still has full control of the army and the right to dissolve parliament. he also has the final say on religious issues and most aspects of the justice system. we take a look at morocco's chances for change. >> morocco is a mixture of tradition and a madonna the. the country has long been regarded as politically stable. it is a constitutional monarchy ruled by king mohammed the sixth. he came to the throne in 1999. his late father is remembered as a tyrant.
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mohammed wanted to modernize the state. the constitution and parliament were created, but most power remained with the king. king mohammed enjoys widespread support among the people. he is the country's foremost religious leader. the protests that erupted in february were not against the monarchs himself, but citizens wanted more democracy, a stronger economy, and less corruption. king mohammed reacted quickly. a few weeks after protests began, he announced reforms to limit his political powers. at the king's suggestion, a referendum was held in july to decide whether a new constitution should be introduced, strengthening civil and parliamentary rights. 98.5% of voters said yes. one change means the next prime minister will be chosen by the strongest party in parliament,
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not king mohammed. but the opposition says the changes do not go far enough. the king continues to control the army and domestic security, and the parliament still has only limited powers. >> the first major demonstration in morocco this year was on february 20. the main protest involvement has taken its name from the state. it has held weekly demonstrations to push for more change. thousands of people took to the streets in cities across morocco, demanding social justice and an end to corruption, one of the biggest protests in recent months. activists claim to live's referendum was not free and fair, pointing to figures that say an overwhelming majority of participants voted in favor of modest reforms. they say the number is too high to be plausible and are demanding more meaningful and believable change.
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>> they are furious and disappointed. they want the government to provide more jobs and to fight corruption. and they want justice. this man has been there from the start. he helped found the february 20 movement, and hopes the arab spring will help his country to modernize. >> when the february 20 movement started, it had a clear goal -- the creation of a modern state. the current government has not kept up with the times. so far, it has only come up with partial solutions, which have failed to deal with the problems themselves. this is about the creation of a state that guarantees the rights of all citizens. >> the pronounced inequality between the wealthy and poor is
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one of the driving forces behind the sunday demonstrations. theƱ protests are open to tradition. many feel moroccan society if weaker members are not treated with respect from those in more powerful positions. >> our costs are long and rich, with phosphate reserves. we demand a fair division. at the moment, only regime elite's profit from them. >> education and medical care are rotten. we demand a decent life for the poor. >> but there are also those who oppose the february 20 movement. they also have been taking to the streets. they show they are loyal to the king and want to keep the status quo. >> the february 20 movement does
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not represent our views. they are pretending they want to introduce democracy. they threaten to divide the country and call the monarchy into question. >> we only trust the king. what we are seeing is a campaign by corrupt parties. >> the mood is heating up. many fear the february 20 movement might also start including radical islamists. the majority here are against a revolution, something the activists are also very much against. >> our movement does not question the current political system. we do not want to interfere. that is the job of the parties. we do not want the parliamentary monarchy and do not want to get rid of the monarchy. we are standing up for reforms, not trying to bring down the existing structure.
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>> he plans to keep fighting for reforms. >> they are against revolution which ousted other regimes, but still want change. one of the biggest challenges facing morocco is to provide economic opportunities for its people, especially young people looking for regular improvement -- employment. there are great disparities between rich and poor, creating social tensions. we spoke to one young man struggling to make a future for himself. >> he is a trained lawyer who finished his studies seven years ago. since then, he has been looking for a job. he buys the newspaper every day and scours the classifieds. he has lost count of the number of applications he has sent, all in vain. his family is poor. he thinks that is the reason he cannot find work.
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hear, connections are important. jobs are bought and sold, he says. >> every year, the government announces plans and programs different from the last government. but the main factors are widespread unemployment -- corruption, bribery, and nepotism. that is why the a young graduate has no faith in them. >> he joined with four friends to write a book critical of the lack of state support. he meets with his friends in a cafe in the city. his co-authors are also well educated and out of work. the book describes what it is so difficult for so many to find a job. the text includes suggestions for policy makers on how they
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could improve things. >> we propose taking qualified people with business backgrounds and placing them with companies. we lobbied for the creation of special job counseling centers. we also recommended releasing fertile land to graduates with agriculture degrees. we made clear what help start- ups need. >> the trade unions' support the friends, including financial assistance. the government does not provide adequate help for the unemployed. >> reforms in morocco. that has been the focus of in- depth. thank you for watching. captioned by the national captioning institute
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"out of ireland" is broughghto you in part by boy's hope girl's hope, which helps children at risk to realize their potential by providing value centered family-like homes and quality education.


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